Aspire: data protection, presentation skills and effective delegation

Aspire: data protection, presentation skills and effective delegation

ext (1)The LexisNexis Aspire training and networking group for junior in-house lawyers met for another event on Wednesday 20 April 2016. Aspire aims to provide insight into the life of an in-house lawyer and to facilitate development, it was great to see the group continue to grow with over 20 new members joining the network. This session included three interactive sessions with presentations on delegation skills, data protection legal skills and presentation skills workshop.

Delegation skills are important for lawyers in all stages of their career 

It is difficult to imagine having someone to delegate to when you are in the early stages of your career, but in practice we often work in teams and can be in a position to delegate to peers and support staff. Professional consultant, Emma Wilson, outlined that while lawyers have a natural tenancy to be protective of their work there are several key benefits to delegation, namely - sharing work allows others to develop and learn and can as a whole make us more effective and efficient.

The session involved an interactive activity which saw pairs explore the difference between 'precision' and 'capability' based delegation. One person in each pair had to describe a scenario of a cat trapped in a box and the other had to draw it based on the instructions. The pair which used the prescriptive style of delegation showed that giving clear and descriptive instructions can be good in allowing the delegator to keep control of the task but the recipient of the instructions can as a result 'feel like a sophisticated robot'. Conversely, the second pair which used the capability based style of delegation found that it was a more enjoyable way of working and that better solutions were discovered because it allowed the person doing the work to use their initiative.

For more information on the topic of delegation please see Emma's article: Delegating for in-house lawyers – why should we care about this? on the Aspire blog here.

Growing data protection concerns for in-house lawyers 

Emma Drake from the data protection team at Bird & Bird gave a high level overview of key data protection concerns for in-house lawyers, including a look into the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), the impact of the Schrems decision and what Brexit can mean for UK data protection law.

The session emphasised the importance for companies, and in-house lawyers, to be aware of and compliant with data protection obligations especially in light of the increased the obligations that the GDPR will place on companies through introducing:

  • increased rights of individuals e.g. rights to access and deletion of data
  • increased accountability of companies e.g. requirements of documentation, DP policies and risk assessments
  • the obligation on companies to report breaches

Presenting with confidence 

Professional consultants, Cat Guynan and Jacqui McNicoll, ran an informative and interactive workshop on how to structure and deliver a great presentation. The session covered the main aspects that make a presentation successful vs common mistakes which can make it fail. We explored how as lawyers we tend focus on the words and content of our presentations but in practice the most important aspects are our body language and tone. In addition, we saw how the structure of a presentation is also key to getting your messages across - the most impact on the audience takes place in the first and last 30 second of the presentation so it is crucial to get you key message across in this period.

Overall a hugely informative and fun workshop. Here's what one Aspire member had to say:

"I just wanted to write and say how much I enjoyed your presentation yesterday and how much more confident I will feel presenting in the future as a result." Sarah - Property Legal Assistant at Vodafone

Get involved... 

The next Aspire will take place on 29 June 2016 from 3pm at LexisNexis, Lexis House, 30 Farringdon Street, London.  Emma Wilson will discuss our next module ‘how to improve your networking skills’,  we will be running a legal skills session on brand protection and will also be joined by a GC who will share their insight about working as an in-house lawyer.

To register for our next event please email


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